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Convective Heat Transfer Correlation for a Single Surrogate Firebrand and a Simplified Firebrand Pile on a Flat Plate Using Naphthalene Sublimation in Heated Air Flow

Published

Author(s)

Savannah Wessies, Jiann C. Yang

Abstract

Previous studies have shown that most structure ignitions in wildland urban-interface fires are due to firebrand deposition and ignition. The heat transfer mechanisms involved in firebrand deposition need further study and characterization for better understanding of the firebrand ignition process. In particular, convective heat transfer correlations over a single firebrand and a pile of firebrands are lacking. Using the heat-mass transfer analogy, naphthalene sublimation experiments were conducted to determine convective heat transfer correlations for a single naphthalene cylinder (a surrogate firebrand) and an idealized three-firebrand pile resting on flat plates from mass loss measurements. These experiments were conducted in a wind tunnel using a heated (50 C) or room temperature air flow (0.5 m/s to 2.1 m/s). There was good agreement between the results using heated and unheated airflows. Experiments using heated airflow reduced the experimental run times and uncertainty in mass loss measurements significantly. In general, the single firebrand had higher Nusselt numbers than the individual firebrands in the pile. In the three-firebrand pile, the firebrand at the top of the pile exhibited the highest heat transfer. The naphthalene sublimation technique can be easily extended to obtain convective heat transfer correlations for various firebrand geometries and configurations.
Citation
Fire Safety Journal
Volume
140

Keywords

wildfires, heat transfer, firebrands, convection

Citation

Wessies, S. and Yang, J. (2023), Convective Heat Transfer Correlation for a Single Surrogate Firebrand and a Simplified Firebrand Pile on a Flat Plate Using Naphthalene Sublimation in Heated Air Flow, Fire Safety Journal, [online], https://doi.org/10.1016/j.firesaf.2023.103858, https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=936325 (Accessed May 28, 2024)

Issues

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Created July 7, 2023, Updated August 4, 2023